It’s been four years since California’s ban on the purchase and possession of shark fins went into effect. And yet, more than 60 tons of shark fins arrive at the Port of Los Angeles each year, bound for chefs and grocers in states where sales of the Asian delicacy remain unfettered.
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) hopes to change that. He plans to introduce a bill in Congress that would prohibit the buying, selling and possession of shark fins throughout the United States. If all goes according to plan, the measure would discourage the practice around the world. . .
“While California led the way with a statewide ban, there are still almost 40 states where the purchase of shark fins is legal,” he said. “The United States can set an example for the rest of the world by shutting down its market for shark fins, which are often harvested by leaving these animals to die a slow and painful death at the bottom of the ocean.”
Experts estimate that as many as 73 million sharks become victims of the shark-fin trade each year. The fins sold for as much as $2,000 a pound in California before the ban took effect in 2013. . .
Nineteen shipping companies and 36 airlines around the world have stopped carrying shark fins as cargo. Despite the California ban, federal customs authorities do not restrict the import and export of shark fins through Los Angeles or other ports in the state, . . .The congressman’s bill would change that by prohibiting the sale or possession of shark fins or any product containing shark fin. . . .
. . . we’re indirectly incentivizing the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning that is putting the survival of many shark populations in jeopardy,” said Oceana spokeswoman Lora Snyder.
She added that “more than 92% of the shark fins coming into the United States enter through Los Angeles.”
Shark fin soup is a delicacy that dates back hundreds of years to China’s Ming Dynasty . . . As China’s middle class has grown, so has demand for the delicacy. The Chinese government has announced that it is phasing out shark fins from official functions.
The bipartisan Shark Fin Elimination Act of 2016 was introduced today by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Reps. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (I-MP) and Ed Royce (R-CA). While the act of shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, shark fins continue to be bought and sold throughout the United States. . .
. . . said Morgan Freeman. “Sharks are being killed for their fins, much like rhinos and elephants have been decimated due to the demand for their horns and tusks. . . .
Key findings from the report include: See - Congress introduces legislation to ban trade of shark fins in US - Morgan Freeman joins Oceana on Capitol Hill to urge action on shark conservation.